|Newband, Stefani Starin, flute, Dean Drummond, conductor;
Dave Eggar, cello; Chuck Palmer, percussion; Rob Frankenberry, keyboards;
Wendy Richman, viola; Timothy Feeney, percussion; Shirley Yoo, piano;
Lindsey Goodman, flute, alto flute, piccolo;
Calmus Ensemble and Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
Mathew Rosenblum’s (b. 1954) music is a synthesis of diverse musical elements derived from classical, jazz, rock, and world music traditions, exploring how seemingly independent musical voices and traditions may be woven together into a newly expressive whole. Another synthesis, one of the earmarks of Rosenblum’s compositional voice, is the use of multiple tuning systems, most commonly the standard Western twelve-note-per-octave equal tempered system augmented with notes from various “just” and otherwise altered pitch systems specifically designed for use with twelve-note equal temperament. Rosenblum uses his tunings for a variety of expressive purposes—among others, to evoke non-Western musics, for “blues” notes, and to create exhilarating hyperchromatic moments and sonic effects.
Equally distinctive is the way his music unfolds in time, perhaps the most striking feature of which is his intermittent repetition of discrete phrases. Such phrases, each as highly memorable as a Wagnerian leitmotif, recur throughout each work with greater or lesser literalness (but always with some variation), setting up large cyclic rhythms that disrupt the linear flow of time. Rosenblum in fact toys deftly with our expectations of when they will occur and what they will lead to. Their character shifts chameleon-like with each recurrence, most elaborately in Circadian Rhythms, but to some extent in each of the works on this CD.